Published 12:03 am Saturday, November 2, 2013

Andalusia’s Keshaun Townsend (26) tries to gain yards Friday night during the Bulldogs’ 33-25 loss to Fairhope. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s Keshaun Townsend (26) tries to gain yards Friday night during the Bulldogs’ 33-25 loss to Fairhope. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Bulldogs fall 33-25 to Class 6A Fairhope

Andalusia couldn’t help but smile Friday night.

The Bulldogs came out and gave a great effort on their home turf on senior night in a 33-25 loss to Class 6A Fairhope.

A proud AHS head football coach Brian Seymore said his players played a complete game last night.

“That’s what I challenged our kids to do all week is to go out there and compete for four quarters,” Seymore said. “Don’t worry about what class they’re in. They can’t play but 11.

“I think our kids did that,” he said.

With this loss, AHS finishes the regular season 8-2. The Pirates also finish at 8-2.

Next week, the Bulldogs will host the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs as they host Childersburg. Fairhope hosts Pelham.

When asked what the feeling is right now going into next week’s important game, Seymore said the concern is on injuries.

“Childersburg has got a quality football team,” the coach said. “I’m not taking anything away from them. We’re going to have to tone it down a little bit and work on assignment football next week.

We’ve got to do a better job of tackling,” he said. “Give them credit. Fairhope’s got some quality athletes.”

Both teams were playing neck and neck during the first half.

The Pirates drew blood first when back-up quarterback Colin Davis rushed in from Andalusia’s 1 with 9:17 left in the first quarter. FHS took a 6-0, short-lived lead with the unsuccessful extra point.

On the Bulldogs’ first play from scrimmage, AHS senior quarterback Michael McCalman threw the ball to Brayden Burkhardt for 7 yards. McCalman added a 11-yard dash two plays later, and scorched by the Pirate defense for a 61-yard touchdown with 7:57 left in the opening quarter to tie it at 6-all.

After giving up an opening touchdown, the Bulldogs settled down and forced Fairhope to a three and out on the Pirates’ next offensive possession.

Andalusia’s momentum, however, dwindled away when McCalman completed a pass to Jake Bishop, who then fumbled the ball after getting hit.

The Pirates took over on the Bulldogs’ 16, and Dave Kirksey punched it in from 5 yards two plays later to give his team a 13-6 advantage.

AHS would then commit its second turnover of the game when Burkhardt coughed up the ball in the hands of Fairhope’s Nicholas Patti.

Another three and out by the Bulldogs’ defense gave them the ball back with 2:24 left in the first.

Fairhope answered when Andalusia couldn’t on its next drive with 8.1 seconds left on a 77-yard TD rush from Lee Andrews. Andrews finished with 180 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns.

At the start of the second quarter, the Bulldogs completed a 8-play, 61-yard drive that was eclipsed by Derrick Dorsey, who ran it in from 13 yards with 8:55 on the clock.

The Bulldogs could’ve tied the game up on their next possession on a Jamal Hourel 8-yard TD rush, but a holding call negated the score.

All night long, the Bulldogs never quit, Seymore said.

Andalusia’s Shun Curry gave a no-quit play by chasing down Andrews 90 yards to force a fumble near the end zone.

“That was an incredible effort by Shun Curry to knock that ball out,” Seymore said.

Fairhope led 19-12 going into the break, with the Bulldogs receiving the ball first in the second half.

AHS took the ball 80 yards on 11 plays, where Burkhardt scooted in from the 8 with 7:47 left in the third quarter. With the successful PAT, the game was tied 19-19.

Andalusia held the Pirates on downs on Fairhope’s next offensive series.

Burkhardt, who finished 10-of-11 for 156 yards, found Trevor Parker for a 74-yard pass that led to a 1-yard TD rush from Montel Lee with 2:39 left in the third quarter to give AHS a 25-19 lead.

Fairhope took back the lead early in the fourth on a 1-yard TD rush from starting QB Grey Jackson. Jackson went 9-of-17 in the air last night.

Later in the fourth, Andrews added a 47-yard TD rush with 8:51 to go and FHS took a 33-25 lead.

McCalman had a good night on the ground in the first half, rushing for 117 yards on six carries. The senior sat out the entire second half to rest for next week and because of a hip pointer he suffered in the first 24 minutes.

Dorsey had 79 yards on 11 carries, and Parker had two receptions for 80 yards.

The Bulldogs will enter next week 0-4 in the first round of the playoffs.

In order to get ready, AHS has been working on Childersburg, Seymore said.

“It was a quality effort (Friday night),” he said. “I can walk off the field knowing that we gave a quality effort. I’m proud of our kids. I’m proud of our coaches. We’ve been playing these last two weeks preparing for Childersburg. The majority of the things we’ve done have been done to work on for Childersburg. I saw a lot of heart tonight, and that’s something I’m proud of.”